Friday June 22, 2018

Archaeologists from China claim, they have discovered a part of the Buddha’s Skull

The bone was uncovered back in 2008 and it was finally put on display in Hong Kong, in the year 2012

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Gautam Budhha. Image source: www.indiamarks.com
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  • The bone was uncovered back in 2008 and it was finally put on display sometime back in 2012 in Hong Kong
  • The skull bone was located inside a stupa model, a dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shrine
  • Deming apparently found the skull bone in a temple in China that was destroyed 1400 years ago

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth,” a quote by Buddha that proved true for archaeologists from the Nanjing Municipal Institute in China when they discovered the fragment of a skull bone, which belonged to Siddhartha Gautama. A find as enormous as the one above lacked any media coverage from the west, until now.

The bone was uncovered back in 2008 and it was finally put on display sometime back in 2012 in Hong Kong. The absence of western media on the scene till its publication in an English report is not what’s strange here; it’s instead the absence of anything more than some circumstantial evidence to prove that the bone actually belonged to Buddha.

Hidden away like a Nesting doll

The skull bone was located inside a stupa model, a dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shrine. It was hidden inside a casket of gold that was inside this model shrine, which was made of sandalwood, silver and gold, and was covered with gemstones made of crystal, glass, agate, and lapis lazuli. The casket of gold was decorated with different designs, said the Indiatimes report.

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The phoenix bird and some musical instruments were part of the intricate designs. On the other hand, the stupa had names of people, who constructed the model and the ones that donated to build it, inscribed on it. A man called Deming wrote these inscriptions. As described in the relics he was a “Master of Perfect Enlightenment, Abbot of Chengtian Monastery [and] the Holder of the Purple Robe.”

Remains of Budhha's skull. Image source: indiatimes.com
Remains of Buddha’s skull. Image source: indiatimes.com

Speculations and Doubts

“May the Heir Apparent and the imperial princes be blessed and prosperous with 10,000 offspring; may Civil and Military Ministers of the Court be loyal and patriotic; may the three armed forces and citizens enjoy a happy and peaceful time.”

The quote above comes from the inscription that was found in the parietal bone, a bone that forms the side and top of the cranium. Even though Deming clearly stated in the inscription that the bone belongs to Buddha, there is no concrete evidence to back that up. There is a lot of speculation about it and the experts believe that the circumstantial evidence is not enough.

History behind the exploration

Deming wrote that subsequently after Buddha “entered parinirvana”- the conclusive death that ends the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, King Ashoka ordered to preserve the Buddha, remains, mentioned the Indiatimes report. The body was divided into 84,000 parts, out of these 84,000 shares 19 were received by China.

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Deming apparently found the skull bone in a temple in China that was destroyed 1400 years ago. He wrote, “In this time of turbulence, did no one care for Buddhist affairs?”

-prepared by Karishma Vanjani, an intern at NewsGram.

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  • AJ Krish

    If the body was divided into 84,000 parts, and only 19 were received by China, where exactly are the remaining 83,981 pieces ?

  • Aparna Gupta

    If they have discovered the skull, it is really an interesting discovery but then the question is that where are the other parts?

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  • AJ Krish

    If the body was divided into 84,000 parts, and only 19 were received by China, where exactly are the remaining 83,981 pieces ?

  • Aparna Gupta

    If they have discovered the skull, it is really an interesting discovery but then the question is that where are the other parts?

Next Story

Scientists: China’s Ban Causes Plastic To Pile Up, Nations Must Reduce Usage

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances

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Scientists: China's Ban Causes Plastic To Pile Up, Nations Must Reduce Usage
Scientists: China's Ban Causes Plastic To Pile Up, Nations Must Reduce Usage, Pixabay

China’s decision to stop accepting plastic waste from other countries is causing plastic to pile up around the globe, and wealthy countries must find a way to slow the accumulation of one of the most ubiquitous materials on the planet, a group of scientists said.

The scientists sought to quantify the impact of the Chinese import ban on the worldwide trade in plastic waste, and found that other nations might need to find a home for more than 122 million tons (110 million metric tons) of plastic by 2030. The ban went into effect Dec. 31, 2017, and the stockpiling trend figures to worsen, the scientists said.

Wealthy countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany have long sent their plastic recyclables to China, and the country doesn’t want to be the world’s dumping ground for plastic anymore. The study found China has taken more than 116 million tons (105 million metric tons) of the material since 1992, the equivalent of the weight of more than 300 Empire State Buildings.

The change is forcing countries to rethink how they deal with plastic waste. They need to be more selective about what they choose to recycle, and more fastidious about reusing plastics, said Amy Brooks, first author on the study and a doctoral student in engineering at the University of Georgia. In the meantime, Brooks said, more plastic waste is likely to get incinerated or sent to landfills.

“This is a wake-up call. Historically, we’ve been depending on China to take in this recycled waste and now they are saying no,” she said. “That waste has to be managed, and we have to manage it properly.”

plastic cups
plastic cups, Pixabay

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. Using United Nations data, it found that China has dwarfed all other plastics importers, accounting for about 45 percent of the world’s plastic waste since 1992. The ban is part of a larger crackdown on foreign garbage, which is viewed as a threat to health and environment.

Some countries that have seen an increase in plastic waste imports since China’s ban — such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia — are already looking to enforce bans of their own because they are quickly becoming overburdened, Brooks said.

The study illustrates that plastic, which has a wide array of uses and formulations, is more difficult to recycle than other materials, such as glass and aluminum, said Sherri Mason, who was not involved in the study and is the chair of the geology and environmental sciences department at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Many consumers attempt to recycle plastic products that can’t ultimately be recycled, Mason said. One solution could be to simplify the variety of plastics used to make products, she said.
“We have to confront this material and our use of it, because so much of it is single use disposable plastic and this is a material that doesn’t go away,” Mason said. “It doesn’t return to the planet the way other materials do.”

The plastics import ban has attracted the attention of the U.S. recycling industry. The National Recycling Coalition said in a statement in mid-May that it must “fundamentally shift how we speak to the public” and “how we collect and process” recyclables.

Also read: A Secret Ingredient Of Your Favorite Sushi: Microplastic

“We need to look at new uses for these materials,” said Marjorie Griek, the coalition’s executive director. “And how do you get manufacturers to design a product that is more easily recyclable.” (VOA)